Monday, October 6, 2008

News Reports from the Armed Forces Day nude protest

(source of the pics: Yonhap)

these came from CINA, a frequently updated blog that focuses on progressive social movements in South Korea.

Activist Detained for Streaking at Military Parade (K. Times, 10.01)

Social activist Kang We-suck (강의석) was detained by police Wednesday for running naked into the 60th Armed Forces Day anniversary parade. Kang ran into the middle of the procession in Samseong-dong, one of the richest areas in Korea, holding a gun-shaped cookie, which he blew on before eating it.

His demonstration halted the parade for about a minute before he was taken away to Suseo Police Station.

In an interview with The Korea Times a day earlier, Kang said his acts were designed to promote pacifism and highlight the necessity of abolishing the military draft.

"Being nude is a symbol of peace and disarmament. It represents being actively involved in a nonviolent movement for peace. The distribution of gun-shaped cookies implies that a world without arms is sweet and peace is delicious,'' he said.

"It would only cost $1.5 trillion to solve worldwide poverty and cure all diseases. We are spending over $1.7 trillion in Korea for our military budget. It caused the killing of innocent citizens in Geochang, Gwangju, and Jeju, and the overthrow of the democratic government of Korea at the same time. Recent military actions include depriving citizens of their homes and taking violent action against candlelit rallies,'' he said.

Kang said his nude performance was a way of showing that there was no compromise in his beliefs. "First I thought recruiting soldiers could be okay. But later I thought we do not need a military system at all,'' he said...

Hankyoreh's report about the "event":

As tanks roll down Tehran Street in the Gangnam district during a parade commemorating Army Day on October 1, Kang Ui-seok, 22, a law student at Seoul National University, goes nude to urge the government to dissolve the army.

Kang appeared suddenly at 4:20 p.m and commenced with a short role play in which he brandished a fake gun he had made out of snack food, putting a stop to the parade for about 30 seconds. Kang was arrested immediately.

Police said that prior to the parade, Kang hid for 12 hours in a trench he had dug himself.

According to police, Kang said that If Korea were to dissolve its army, it could help underdeveloped countries by saving the lives of starving children. In explaining his demonstration, Kang said that he had appeared in the nude to symbolize the condition of being unarmed and was meant to evoke peace and nonviolence.

The police booked him on charges of obscenity later that day.

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